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What do you do when you’re humming along, moving in the flow and then thwack!  You stub you toe?  You might stub it on an obstacle  left in your foot path,  a hiccup in your plans, an unexpected bill or illness.

If you’re like me, your reaction is to get mad at yourself for not paying attention, not seeing the hazard ahead.  It’s quite easy for me to skip off into other times I haven’t watched where I was going or how things like this ALWAYS happen to me!

It’s difficult when you’re smacked in the face by an unforseen obstacle, such as a car or computer breakdown, expectations unfulfilled and other such left field stray balls.

This wayward ball  can often throw you off course and leave you feeling defeated, angry, victimized or otherwise closed to the abundant flow.

I find it hard at that point, to bring myself back.  This week, I was flowing along, paying good attention and allowing all the little things to fall away.  I’m not going to get hung up on this and allow my thoughts to go negative, I say.  I’m staying present and happy with life.  No, that’s not going to get me either . . .  What happens?  I find myself in a massive traffic jam.  I get a little crazy when no one is moving at all. “Usual” traffic progresses, albeit slowly.  But when there’s an accident or lane blockage, there is, what feels like, no progress.  Minutes go by and the car only moves a few inches.  It’s at this point I begin to panic and wonder what I’m doing there!  I calculate the time wasted, stress over the wear and tear on the car and end up cussing at my life, along with the other drivers.

Very negative. Very closed.  Very unhappy.

It irks me to know I have such limits.  Why can’t I accept all that happens?  Why are there some things I can’t float through?  I know my fussing does nothing to move me any closer to my destination. There seem to be tributaries of my negative thinking.  Say I accept what’s happening now.  But, I ask myself, how many other times have I been in this situation? Why haven’t I been able to get myself out of this?  What flaw has kept me stuck in this predicament, susceptible to such frustrations?  If I sit long enough, I might even find someone else to blame for it.

It’s true that many walls that toes stub are much bigger and thicker than interminable traffic.  For instance, if I was in the car that caused this jam . . . Surely, sitting behind the wreckage, I have the time to control my thoughts, gain perspective, and put myself back on track.  Before I slam into that threatening wall.

I guess it’s hard when you’re facing the culprit, head on.  But, I feel, this is exactly the time to work on it.  The best tactic seems to be to talk with yourself.  Out loud, if you can.  Tell yourself it’s okay.  Heal the wounds first.  Make sure you show concern for yourself and the situation you are in.  You might slide into gratitude, if you’ve calmed yourself down enough: “I’m grateful it wasn’t my accident. I’m grateful for the cell phone so I won’t leave anyone hanging.  It’s a nice day and the music is humming.”

This is a the time to remind yourself there’s nothing you can do about it  at the moment.  If there are changes to be made, they don’t have to be enacted right no. Assure yourself that it will end and you will be able to clear your head and make a new choice.

This is really good practice. Not only will it make you better able to brush off smaller things, it will also prepare you for those bigger obstacles. Watch your progress and see how often and how quickly you can find that flow again.

This is one that faces many people on the path: What are the obstacles that indicate a change of direction and what are challenges to be met?

Being able to read your feelings can tell you a lot about this.  But is it always true that if you feel tired or resistant it is definitely a change of direction?  I don’t know if it is.  It requires further questioning.  Is this really something I want to do?  Can this lead me where I choose to go?  Is this a challenge that I am capable of and choose to meet?  Or is it an obstacle that will require more energy for less (or questionable ) pay off?  What might that pay off be?

“Creating Money” says to test your intuition.  Listen for what your feelings are telling you and investigate each path.  See how you feel when you think of a change of direction or meeting the challenge.  What goodies, as Susan Jeffers asks, can you find down each path?

Maybe this is part of it too – what about people who rub you the wrong way upon meeting?  You have no prior judgements, just an uncomfortable feeling.  I tend to meet people with an open heart, eager to know why we have been brought together.  But sometimes, something sets me off, seemingly out of nowhere.  Like my bristles are being brushed in the wrong direction.  So, what does that mean?  Is this person not good for me, isn’t worth my time to allow to get closer?  Or is it just from an attitude the person (or I) might be carrying at the moment?  Maybe this person could be my Zen Master, have a very positive impact on my life.  Am I going to chase them away because I’m not comfortable around them?  Perhaps the fact that they bother me is the reason we have met.  What if I’m shutting off an amazing relationship because of a initial reaction?

Maybe it is my intuition telling me to stay away.  Not pursue this friendship.  That there are better ways to spend my time.  This person may end up bringing me down.

Perhaps the answer lies in opening to the possibilities of either path.  If I turn and go in a new direction, who knows what I will find?  On the other hand, if I stay and overcome the obstacle (or the initial irritation) maybe there are great vistas on the other side.

Ultimately, our intended direction can still be reached if we remain open to the experience.  Look to your feelings.  What feels good, exciting, doable, loving ~ and see where that takes you.

From the book, “The Energy of Money,” by Maria Nemeth, Ph.D.

Obstacles can be disappointing and discouraging, but the truth is they don’t come up if you’re not moving forward. These bumps in the road are not meant to send you back home.  In fact they are concrete, and sometimes physical evidence that you’re on the journey. 

Any goal you set moves you out of your current structure of knowing (your comfort zone).  When you move out there you will come across obstacles along the road.  But working with these obstacles, you allow yourself to see (and attract) things you never imagined!

Dr. Nemeth’s contention is that we can learn a lot when we look at and remove these obstacles.“The more powerful and knowledgeable you become, the more aware you are of the obstacles on your path.  To continue to be powerful, you must clear them away.”

In this chapter she asks us to look at two scary things: First, our Net Worth.  Dr. Nemeth describes this as the number of units of money energy we have.  Net worth has nothing to do with our worth as human beings. It’s just what we have that we can use. That doesn’t sound so scary.   Secondly, the Credit Rating.  That is your money score.  “Your increased awareness will cause a shift in your power that will enable you to pursue what you want with ease, to find your goals with the energy of money you need.”  When you say it like that, why not?
Exercise: Your Net Worth – Awakening a Powerful Relationship with Money
Dr. N. suggests going to a bank, real estate agency or financial planner to get a net worth form.  It simply lists what you own minus what you owe in a snapshot of time. Right here, right now.  I did it, despite some Monkey Mind tsking that I don’t need to.  But the truth was surprising and awakening. I found I’m far better off than I thought!  She asks us, of course, to write down what we’re feeling as we do this . . .

To improve your net worth, Dr. Nemeth offers three practical suggestions: 1) Clear up debt; Each time you pay an overdue bill, she tells us, you increase your net worth.  2) Spend less, of course; 3) Invest; 4) Earn more.  She adds that you might also inherit, but that doesn’t work for everyone.

The next thing to do is to get at least two copies of your credit report.  Make sure the information is current and the people providing it are legitimate.  There are a couple of long-standing, reputatable companies who do this.  Dr. Nemeth says that if you find issues on your report, it may be a simple fix.  And that companies are far more willing to work with us than most of us think.

Remember that discomfort in doing these things is natural and not a reason to stop.  What you resist persists.  Being okay with the discomfort and allowing yourself to look at and deal with these things is the only way to get rid of the discomfort. Dr. Nemeth says that facing it with compassion brings wisdom.

Exercise: Turning Lead into Gold. 
Like the alchemists, we want to take our lead-feeling obstacles and turn them into gold money energy that can feed our goals.  To do that we are going to dismantle the obstacle. Dr. Nemeth says that in time you can do this much faster.  For the time being, she wants us to try moving through all the stages to get used to the process

1.  Identify an obstacle you currently face, something you believe is blocking you from your goal.  Write at least three sentences to describe it.

2.  Narrow your description.  Have you stated clearly the facts of what’s happening?  See if you can pinpoint an incident.

3.  Examine your breakdown regarding this obstacle.  She defines breakdown as your “personal reaction to the obstacle.”  You do this in four areas:  Your thoughts, your feelings, body sensations and spirit.  This is about taking a look at our structure of knowing.  She wants us to take a page of our notebooks and put “Thoughts” at the top. Then, write out all our thoughts about it. Any judgments we may have, ways we’ve used to fix it. When we’ve written everything we think, then, do the Feelings on another piece of paper.  Things like sad, frustrated, bored, disgusted. . .

Dr. Nemeth says that distinguishing between thoughts and feelings helps to make the structure more “permeable and flexible.”  Next, you want to write down all your physical sensations (I was taught that this is often a good way in.  To start with the body.  But maybe our heads are so full of chatter, it’s better to get rid of that first.)  For the Spirit portion, she says to write about what’s missing.  Dr. Nemeth says we don’t often take the time to really look at our obstacles like this.

4.  Get some distance and perspective on it all.  Talk to someone. If you can’t, she has a neat trick: put the page face up on a table or the floor and move about five feet away from it.  See what it looks like from there.  Either way she wants us to think about these questions:

 A. Do I see clearly that I am experiencing a breakdown in this situation?
 B.  Do I see that my best strategies are not working, or that they may be part of the problem?
C.  Have I been trying to solve this alone, without consultation or support from those who could help me?
D.  Am I willing to go on, even if it means doing things differently than I have done them before?
E.  Am I willing to give up plans that may no longer work?

5.  Restate the Obstacle. See if you can now talk about just the facts.  Dr. Nemeth says, “This is where you distill the truth from your symptoms, like separating gold from lead.“ Tell what really happened.

6.  Look at any broken promises. In most cases, she says, it’s a broken promise to yourself or others at the heart of the breakdown.  She asks us to put it up against our Standards of Integrity.  Does your behavior in this situation go counter to any of your standards?  It’s important to let go of the blame and to, “learn from the mess, clean it up and keep going.”

7.  With your Life Intentions, see which one is being thwarted by this obstacle.  Know that the obstacle doesn’t need to take your intention down!

8. Re-affirm your goals.

9. Take Authentic Action.
 A.  What promises need to be kept?  What do you need to do that?
 B.  Is your goal SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time Based)
 C.  What is the next step toward your goal?
 D.  If you need support, where can you get it?
 E. Are you willing to take support from others, even if it’s not really how you’d do it?

Dr. Nemeth claims that if you work through this fully two times, it will get a lot easier and faster.  And before you know it, your feet will be on the ground and you’ll be striding along again! 

Next week – in both my classes – we’ll be talking about getting support.

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